Deal Signed to Run Auckland’s Passenger Trains
Connex Signs Deal to Run Auckland’s Passenger Trains
22 March 2004
Connex has today formally signed a contract with the Auckland Regional Council to run Auckland’s passenger trains.
The ARC Passenger Transport Committee Chair, Councillor Catherine Harland, says the contract marks the start of a new era for passenger rail in Auckland.
“We are entering into a partnership with a focused and dedicated operator who wants to run a successful passenger transport service. Providing passenger rail services is Connex’s core business, and it brings experience and knowledge gained from operations around the world”.
Cr Harland says the contract has been structured to deliver over time more reliable and frequent train services, increased rail patronage, and a safe and secure passenger experience. Connex will assist the ARC as a partner in developing the rail network in Auckland.
“Improving the basic rail infrastructure – the tracks, signals, stations and trains - is a mammoth transformation project that will happen over the life of the contract and beyond, and these changes will inevitably impact on services,” she says.
“It needs an operator able to respond to and work with all parties, especially customers, to ease the impacts. One reason why Connex was chosen is its ability to manage this type of change“.
Under the contract, Connex is to provide greater levels of information about its performance, with an improved monitoring regime in place for reliability and punctuality of service, revenue growth and cost management.
The contract also provides greater clarity and security for the Auckland region in terms of service continuity, should Connex fail to meet its performance obligations.
The contract is for four years, with an option of up to three one-year renewals to reach a maximum of seven years.
Cr Harland says the contract with Connex is another piece of the jigsaw required to improve rail in Auckland.
“The ARC is implementing a number of other initiatives to improve passenger rail, including modernising and adding to our train fleet, increasing services and leading the double tracking of the western rail line, with much more still to come”, she says.
The target date for Connex to take over operation of the rail network from Tranz Rail is July 1, after an establishment period of up to four months.